If you are looking for an accountancy career that gives you an opportunity to gain practical work experience and be supported to achieve professional qualifications while earning a salary, then you could consider an apprenticeship with KPMG.
KPMG in the UK is part of a global network of member firms who use AAT qualifications to support their apprentices across the business. Through tax, legal, advisory, and audit capabilities, it works with organisations of all sizes and across different industries, using innovative approaches and new technologies to help them solve some of their most complex business challenges. KPMG exists to help the UK’s people, communities, and businesses to thrive and grow.
KPMG’s Apprenticeship programmes offer the opportunity to gain practical work experience and build core employability skills. You will be supported to achieve professional qualifications and accreditations, such as diplomas and degrees, and earn a salary.
Creating a talent pipeline for the future
Recruiting new graduates and apprentices is an important part of KPMG’s strategy to future proof its business and nurture the best diverse talent in the industry.
The firm has also started a new programme to reskill and upskill existing staff in critical skills the firm needs today and in the future. KPMG is third in the Social Mobility Employer’s Index 2020.
“We are now at the stage where we’ve got a really great apprenticeship programme and our offering is now much broader as perceptions regarding apprenticeships have changed,” says Matt Worman, Senior Manager Apprentice Programme Lead at KPMG in the UK.
What skillset is needed at entry level?
Apprentices can join KPMG from post-A level onwards, and the firm is looking for a diverse group of individuals from different backgrounds and with a range of experience.
“Our people are so important and so fundamental to who we are as a firm,” Matt Worman says. “I would say behaviours are more important than skills. We are looking for people who are collaborative and curious, passionate, motivated and interested in problem solving.
“If people are curious, motivated, and collaborative that instantly makes people pretty good problem solvers because they can work together as a team and find the answers to problems.” Potential recruits also need to think about how their own personal values are aligned with what KPMG stands for.
“We hold people as the highest asset in our firm,” says Stacy Morris, Head of Student Programmes and Apprenticeships at KPMG in the UK. “Our reputation is very clear in the marketplace and I think people actively seek that out.”
“People really need to research what we do, what we are all about and what the apprenticeship entails. They need to know what we stand for and be excited about what they’re coming in to do,” says Matt Worman. “If they can’t articulate that, the chances are they haven’t really thought this through properly.”
When does recruitment take place?
The recruitment process has started already and apprentices for this year will start the programme in October 2021. KPMG is planning to take on around 240 apprentices across the UK this year.
Due to COVID-19, last year’s induction programme was a completely virtual one, which received very positive feedback. The Student Programmes and Apprenticeship team was very keen to create a sense of community even though the new members of staff were unable to meet up face to face.
“Students are the heartbeat of our firm,” says Stacy Morris. “They are fundamental to us delivering what our clients require and fundamental to us staying relevant.
“We need highly trained, highly skilled new talent coming through continuously,” says Matt Worman. “So it wasn’t a case of stopping the recruitment process during the pandemic.”
What are the apprenticeship schemes on offer?
On offer are a range of apprenticeship schemes, including the KPMG Audit Apprenticeship programme, the KPMG Business Services Apprenticeship programme and a Software Engineering Degree Apprenticeship offered in London and Manchester. We will also soon launch a new Data & Analytics Degree Apprenticeship as well as the KPMG Law Apprenticeship programme.
“If someone is really interested in applied and experiential learning and living and breathing a job, and learning from the experts around them, then an apprenticeship would be a great option,” says Matt Worman.
“You can’t underestimate the level of support that is given through the learning mechanisms of an apprenticeship. We invest a lot of time in supporting our students in fulfilling their potential.
The structure of the apprenticeship scheme means that students get day-to-day coaching in real situations and are able to apply their technical knowledge in real life. This helps when they come to sit the exams for professional qualifications. Another advantage is that the apprentices earn a salary, and do not have to commit to a university course which would potentially result in student debt.
How do I find out more?
If you are in sixth form now or have already completed your A Levels (or equivalent), you can apply for an apprenticeship. There is more information on the Student Recruitment Pages at KPMG here.
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Marianne Curphey is an award-winning financial writer and columnist, and author of the book How Money Works. She worked as City Editor at The Guardian, deputy editor of Guardian online, and has worked for The Times, Telegraph and BBC.